Tom Hollins had to give up his attempt. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Tom Hollins had to give up his attempt. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Ultrarunner Tom Hollins had to abandon his attempt to run a double Bob Graham Round at the weekend when he became unwell.

The Montane Spine Race 2017 winner was aiming to beat Nicky Spinks’s record for the gruelling Lake District mountain challenge and become only the third person to achieve the double round.

The hospital anaesthetist aborted his run on Sunday after completing one anti-clockwise Bob Graham Round and summiting three peaks on his second circuit. The inov-8 athlete had suffered from a virus earlier in the week, but still managed to run 45 summits, with 39 remaining.

He completed the first 66-mile Bob Graham Round, taking in 42 summits, in 22hrs 19mins.

An inov-8 spokesperson said: “Tom, as planned, then turned around at Moot Hall, Keswick and began a second round, this time in a clockwise direction. He managed three summits: Skiddaw, Great Calva and Blencathra, before pulling the plug on his attempt at the roadside support station in Threlkeld.

“Tom forced down some food and slept for an hour at Threlkeld but upon waking up decided he was in no fit state to continue.

“Tom had started his attempt strongly but suffered in the Saturday morning heat and humidity. This took its toll on Saturday afternoon when he fell unwell with heatstroke.

“Struggling to eat and feeling devoid of energy, he determinedly pushed on but his pace continued to slow. During the evening and through the night conditions changed again with cold winds and zero visibility in low-lying cloud making it difficult for Tom and his pacers.”

The Ilkley, West Yorkshire-based runner said the challenge proved much tougher than he anticipated and that the virus he’d suffered had not helped.

In May last year, Yorkshire farmer Nicky Spinks beat Roger Baumeister’s 1979 record by more than an hour, completing the double Bob Graham Round in 45hrs 30mins. They are the only two runners to have achieved the challenge.

The Bob Graham Round, named after the Keswick guest-house owner who first accomplished the feat in 1932, involves summiting the 42 Lakeland peaks in 24 hours or less.

Hollins won this year’s Montane Spine Race in January, beating Czech runner Pavel Paloncý and Spaniard Eugeni Roselló Solé in the event which involves running the full 268-mile length of the Pennine Way in full winter conditions.

More details of Tom Hollins’s attempt are on the inov-8 website.

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